All posts by Jack Hipkins

Reduce waste by closing excess military bases – REAL CLEAR DEFENSE

As Republicans work to pound out a 2018 budget, one area of contention within the Republican majority has been over exactly how large the Defense budget should be. With the House Armed Services Committee proposing to set it at $696 billion and the Senate Armed Services Committee calling for $700 billion,  negotiations will continue until a specific price tag is set. What seems certain is that spending will be up dramatically from the $618.7 billion Defense budget in 2017.

These proposals align well with President Trump’s campaign pledges to increase military spending to rebuild the military and finance a renewed effort to combat global terrorism. However, amidst the Republican frenzy to produce a budget vastly ramping up military expenditures, few lawmakers are asking if the money already allocated is being spent as efficiently as it could be. Indeed, Congress may once again pass up an opportunity to work towards eliminating waste within the military by closing excess military bases.

Read the rest at: Real Clear Defense

It’s Time to Reassess US Arms Transfer Policy

With the recent decision to deploy additional troops to Iraq and Syria to help in the assault on Mosul and Raqqa, the two largest cities within the Islamic State’s self-proclaimed Caliphate, it appears that the Trump administration has begun to take the first steps towards re-engaging the US military in another Middle East intervention.

Yet, while the prospect of more boots on the ground in the Middle East inflames passions among some members of the media and the occasional politician, the continual flow of US armaments into the region hardly seems to register on the public agenda. In 2015, US companies sold $209.7 billion worth of military equipment, $33 billion of which was to Gulf countries.

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